Thursday, December 31, 2009

Old shed

More from yesterdays class. This old shed was a lovely subject to do in pencil, although I still think I like pen better.
Terribly hot and humid today, about 39 degrees C by the back door in the shade, but there is a cool change trying to push through.
Thank you to all who commented so nicely on last nights post, and I am sorry I cant send some of our heat over to you but truly I dont think you would want it.
I have tidied up the guest room and made the bed, tidied stuff off the other guest bed in my work room, but now I need to find the floor!
Made the cold cucumber and leek soup for tonight, 7 of us get together each year for New Years Eve and who ever's house it is does the main and the rest bring entree or dessert and befores, I forgo entree in favour of cold soup.
This Haiku by Teitoku was a bit apt today, not that it is autumn!
No wonder today
all the men need
mid-day naps...
Oh that Autumn moon!

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A lesson with Joe Penn

Today I went off for a drawing lesson with some one whose name I didnt even know, because my local art teacher had him and about 12 of us gathered for one of the best drawing lessons I have had.
It was fun and very instructive.
I am not known for my drawing, and when as it was today, it is hot I have trouble concentrating, but I came home with several drawings some of which I thought for me, were quite reasonable.
I have never in my life drawn sheep and when I saw what Chris who sat next to me was doing I thought I would have a go, and so these were born.
Everything was done using shading and a 2b pencil, I never seem to have time to concentrate on drawing like this and perhaps, just perhaps I will try to do 10 minutes a day for the next few months.
Having said that I am feeling worn out and this well over 37 degree C heat has got to me.
Kyoshi's Haiku is lovely
Deftly the new moon
a silver haiku
on the tips of waves.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Frenchmans rock

I am home and I am tired, so back to sketches!
This is the little edifice that covers or is supposed to cover the place where Nicolas Buaudin found fresh water in a spring and carved his name on the rock. The rock is now in a museum.
I did this from the ferry yesterday morning as we waited to leave.
I hate leaving the Island.
After packing up and then unpacking again I was too tired to post yesterday but there are some photos on my other blog here
Today is hot and sticky and I have washed floors and dusted and John has helped vacuum and there is washing on the line so I do feel a bit better about things.
I havent got my wished for new Haiku book but there are still some in this little book, interestingly mostly about spring or winter, not a lot about summer but this one by Otsuji could be appropriate.
Idly, a ship glides,
the tip of its sail
the polished water.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


We have had a very long but wonderful day. I was hoping fo something a bit better than this but now after walking hours over rough terrain both my knee AND my back dont like me!!
I was really just playing to see if my flowers were ok and messed this up when I put a wash over the top. So much for having a lazy day, I finished my book, you cant stop reading a Peter Robinson a few pages from the end, and John decided that we would have an early lunch and go to the mouth of the Willson River.
Now we did this about 12 years ago and I thought it was a tough walk then, today with a gammy knee it was tougher but I made it.
To read more about it go to my other blog here
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hanson Bay

This is a bit fast and splodgy but is a little like lovely Hanson bay.
We made the long trip along the south coast road to possibly fish but the tide wasnt right so we just walked and I did a very quick impression of it all.
I would love to catch the absolute blue and clarity of it but limited time and lets face it, lack of ability mean I cant.
It is amazing how far it is, about 139 kms from here.
Off for a pre dinner drink looking out over the bay here, only one more night after tonight, I dont want to think about it!
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Friday, December 25, 2009

Quiet Christmas

A calm sea and a pinkish sky.
We have done very little.
A day for reflection and regeneration.
May all our friends be well and enjoying life.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

The edge of the dunes

We went over to Antechamber bay this morning and while John fished, (not much luck again but one unlucky sandcrab came home for lunch!) I walked the wide sandy beach, not a lot to find but enough bits and pieces to keep me happy and this to paint.
There is thick scrub and a National Park at the back of this so the sand dunes rise to the scrub and all along the lower dunes this wonderful grass grows, usually blowing with the wind.
We havent done a lot,we are due out to drinks shortly, the cool weather today has made us slow and sleepy.
I picked some samphire to put into tonights salad, yummy stuff if you know where to find it.
I havebeen watching the little blue wrens out the front, they have longer tails than the ones at home, I suppose they are an Island sub species. One day I may try to paint one but they are so quick I would have to refer to some one else's photo which I am reluctant to do.
My thanks to all who read my blog, it means a lot to know someone is interested.
A Happy Christmas to you all.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rocks at the end of Penneshaw (Hog Bay)

This was still a bit damp when I took its photo so there are some shadows on the sky that are not there.
A very hot and muggy day here but no where near as bad as I had expected, the high winds that were experienced in other places didnt seem to happen.
We went into Kingscote this morning and had coffee with a friend who makes hats and lives in a lovely cottage at Shoal Bay overlooking the sea. She had a gorgeous hand reared and very tame zebra finch zooming around and sitting on our shoulders, making his lovely zit zit noise.
Her partner who makes wonderful things out of found wood and metal wasnt home but we saw some of his stuff.
Some shopping and lunch a look in all the galleries and home.
More friends for dinner tonight, I have walked the beach and am about to make salads and crumb the fish, this is the life!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

KI landscape

I am using picasa to put this up as I cant do it the way I normally do so I hope this works.
We have just poured our glass making friend out of the door, having fed him more than adequately I think, a fun evening full of deep and meaningful chat and moments of hilarity as well,
I hope I can see the key board as I may have had a little more to drink than normal.
This flat topped mallee is very typical down this end of the Island, most of the crops have been rept and things are drying out.
A hot day in the 40's is again forecast for tomorrow but I dont think it will be as bad as that here as the north wind tends to blow over the water and cools us down.
Still relaxing, visiting friends, bought some interesting books at the book exchange, always worth a look as so many overseas visitors come.
I am having a go at knitting some mitred squares while I can sit and concentrate, I have to say my first attempts were pulled apart! I dont think I am very good at working out new patterns, it looked deceptively simple!
I hope you who read this have a bit of time to relax and enjoy as well as prepare for family and friends.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Flowers from the KI garden

With no scanner I am having to take photos so only the larger stuff comes out. I am managing a few sketches and if you go to my other blog here you will see some of where we went today.
It is John's 72nd Birthday and we had a lazy morning until after lunch he decided to go to my most favorite bay on KI where I could walk and he could fish.
I did the painting this morning, agapanthus, fuchsia and a white buddlia.
As we didnt catch any fish he has gone to another spot but as that means more walking through sandhills and my knee says it has done enough I am home resting it.
We will go out to dinner tonight to celebrate.
We must be getting old, we are taking things very slowly, not running around like mad things but I am relaxed and enjoying it.
I am loving some of the photos of all the snow, but realise it probably isnt much fun for those of you who are on the count down to Christmas.
Keep well I am enjoying hearing about what you are doing.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cape Jervis

I did this quick sketch while on the ferry to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. All rocky headlands and rocks running out to sea.
We had been up very early this morning packing the red ute for our week in the nicest little house overlooking the sea on my favorite Island.
The crossing takes just under an hour over some of the roughest bits of water around our coast, but this morning although windy it was relatively calm, but cold.
As we were on the first ferry the friend who owns this little house was still cleaningso she sent us off, we went to the farmers market and I hope the lamb chops I got are as good as last years.
Went to visit a friend who does the most amazing things with glass to invite him for drinks later this week and then back to unpack.
I have had an afternoon nap, John is playing pool with himself and I am listening to Katherine Jenkins, she has such a beautiful voice, before that Bryn Terfel who we saw collecting his mail while we were in North Wales. (He was a neighbour of the friends we stayed with, what a voice he has!)
We are about to walk on the beach and then I will think about dinner.
Finally I can relax.
No Haiku while I am away unless I can talk John into writing some.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Playing with shapes

I have had this vague outline in my head for a while and finally today I found a few minutes to get her more or less on paper. I think this may be the first of several versions, I wanted flowing draperies and a feeling of style. I dont think I have quite done yet what I want but it is a start.
So nice to get back to doing a bit with paint.
Yesterday was stinking hot and we were in Adelaide, my lunch was canceled as two couldnt make it so we decided as it was such a hot day we would try again for the new year.
The days have been quite comfortable with lovely weather and then we get an over 40c day and then last night we had rain and a thunderstorm and today it is really cold and all you want to do is sleep!
Any way some presents have been delivered, I saw both my sisters and my mother who was quite bright while I was there, although she complains I am the only one of the three of us who talks to her and tells her how the family is.
I have made the biscotti so I think that is the last of the baking I have to do before we leave.
This evening we are delivering more presents and having a drink with friends, we only catch up about once a year, terrible when we dont live very far away.
John has had continuous meetings, final once for the year etc and half my children seem to be down with a terrible cold so I hope I dont get it.
None of us seem to have much money so it will be interesting to see what we do for Christmas presents. I think almost all of mine have been made, at least they seem to like the jewellery I make and at least I can still make it. So far the ageing joints havent fallen into a complete heap, at least if I keep them moving my hands seem to be ok but there have been mornings when I have woken and wondered if they will ever work again.
I am not sure this 70 bit is a good thing I have just had a card from an old school
friend who fell over a garden stake and broke bones in her foot and is still in trouble with it, she is bemoaning the fate of her garden but does say she has read a lot of good books and has been doing jigsaw puzzles which she felt terribly guilty about until she read that Margaret Drabble has written a book on jigsaws and always has one or two on the go, I love them but always feel guilty too about spending time on a jigsaw when there is so much more I can do.
I have been having a lovely time visiting blogs and seeing how the northern hemisphere bloggers are getting ready for Christmas with snow and cold and thinking how different it is here, possibly beach and seafood for us although many still have turkey and hot lunches I am afraid that if we have hot we have an evening meal and usually if it is not stinking hot we have roast duck, when we had geese it was always a goose, but you need more than 2 for a goose and home grown ones were always better than bought.
I may have used this Haiku by Basho before but it is so beautifully evocative
Over the ruins
of a shrine,
a chestnut tree
still lifts its candles.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Too tired to think

I sat sketching some of my china pieces, in pencil and I think I made them too dark when I tried to darken them. Just a small hodge podge of what I have, cheese dishes, spill vase a Staffordshire dog and a glass hen on a nest. oh and I forgot the little Staffordshire house I bought in London in 1971.
I had a good day today, tidying up the house and washing and doing things that needed to be done around the place, it is going to warm up but at the moment it is a lovely evening.
Weaver had made some comments about ageing and I have replied in my other blog Back Valley Seasons which you will find a link to in the side bar. I thought it was a good topic but I am not sure I know how to deal with it.
Perhaps Soseki in his Haiku comes near to it.
Dreaming of shouting
I waken parched
from my noonday nap.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Naughty hen

I went up to feed the hens this afternoon and left the door a tiny bit open while I filled the water up and one wandered out, normally they just peck around my feet but this one decided to have fun with me and shot off at a great rate with me in pursuit as the old male pug loves killing chooks,you wouldnt think they could but they do so he normally is kept well away from them, so he went off after her as well and there she was trying to fly squawking and carrying on as she went. I did finally manage to round her up, after shutting Tuppy, the dog away.
Such silly things but I do like the eggs they give me, but drawing them! I still havent got the knack. I suppose if I had time I should go up and practice when they are out but at this time of the year!!
I managed to wrap a few presents this morning after going in to the farmers market and I finished another bracelet. Only about 2 more of those to go but will I have the time.
I felt quite wicked this afternoon doing the bracelet and watching the Kirov Ballets tribute to Nijinsky, I only saw the Polotskian (?) dancers and the Firebird, I missed the other two, but the costumes and the dancers were so lovely. I saw both of these ballets here in Australia as a teenager and have loved ballet ever since, I once thought I might like to be a ballet dancer but my toes were not right and I am sure I would never have had the dedication. Unfortunately I dont see it these days, it is so expensive and would mean a night in Adelaide.
Shiki is the writer of tonight's Haiku
Enviable leaves,
so beautiful
just before falling...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Angels angels every where

Wherever I have been lately there have been little girls scurrying along, usually with a parent in tow heading for the end of the school year nativity plays. Mostly dressed in some form or another as angels.
I remember that during my early years at school I really wanted to be something other than an angel, but an angel I was, dressed in white muslin and holding a Christmas lily who always made me feel faint as I stood in the sun on some wooden staging at least 2 feet from the ground in the sun. At our school it was always outside, and always in the late afternoon when the sun was at its hottest as in those days schools did not have halls, this was during and just after the war.
This all came back to me this afternoon as I sat trying to get my aching back into some form of submission after a busy day, again. (I will be so glad when I am on the Island and can relax.)
I started drawing an angel who is by the tv and it went on from there.
Cake no 4 is done and I have sorted out some of the Christmas presents into bags, I dont think I am going to make any more, I seem to have plenty of left over ones from last year and there is no point in stressing.
I walked over to take a photo of the latest foal this evening, and the camera had a non existent battery, very annoying but the light wasnt terribly good any way.
I have put in a request for a new Haiku book but was told I could get them off the net, somehow its not the same and I like books.
Tonight's is by Onitsura, there is more to this one than you may think.
A voiceless flower
to the obedient
in-listening ear.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The tree is up and from the kitchen marvellous smells are coming

I have spent most of the morning finding all the tree decorations and all the other things that normally go into one cupboard and obviously last year had to go into two. It is only a little tree but it is the first one we ever had and it fits into a very cluttered room reasonably well.
I did the sketch of all the things on the kitchen table that were waiting to go into no 3 boiled fruit cake. One possibly two more to make.
I have had a terribly tiring few days, and so blogging has not been at the top of my list. I came home from Adelaide pretty tired and although the rain we have had has been wonderful the changeable weather does make joints ache.
My mother was really quite with it when I saw her, but it was virtually one of those drive up and almost straight home again although I did call into a friend who gave me lunch and then I decided to drive the less stressful but longer way home through the hills. I noticed as I drove in that we had another foal, I think we are up to 20 odd, far too many, and about another 2 I hope to go, although a colt got in with the fillies and goodness knows if he got many in foal or not.
I have written out almost all the Christmas cards today too, the overseas ones must go or they wont get there. I always worry that as I have written them a few will come in from people I decided not to send to this year! Much easier if we were all on the net.
I would like a new Haiku book for Christmas but I dont think I will get one.
This one is by Kubutsu
Gazing at falling
a baby almost
looks like a Buddha.

Actually at a certain age most babies look like a Buddha!

Monday, December 07, 2009

My Christmas doodle

When the brain feels like mush but one has finished a Christmas stocking, baked another cake, baked a loaf of bread and had blood taken perhaps one is entitled to sit on the new couch with the cat in the sun room and do a doodle which special people might get as a Christmas card.
Then again I might do another one, we will see.
The forcast is for rain this evening, I hope so as although it is not very warm it has been dry and every drop of rain will count this summer.
I am afraid if you want to see the stocking you will have to go here, I do run two blogs and this one really is for sketching and the other is for all the other stuff. I do hope people sometimes go to both.
Tonight's Haiku is by Buson
When the autumn wind
scatters peonies,
a few
petals fall in pairs.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I have been busy.

There is a bit of this and a bit of that in this blog post. We went for a walk late this afternoon and I did this quick sketch of Wright Island and the beach and a few granite boulders, the beach has a lot of sand on it here which normally it doesnt, we have had a few high tides but also the new breakwater built for the boat landing facility may be making a difference.
It was a glorious day and afternoon with boats in the bay, a cool breeze and if my knee wasnt being such a pain I really would have enjoyed it more. I am beginning to think that falling off that table was the worst thing I could have done.
Then there is Oscar, about to jump into a sink full of fish, he was so excited he made a great lunge, as you can see John had a good day fishing and we had a plaki (Greek fish dish) for dinner last night.
Then there is a photo of what I did yesterday, as well as feed ponies, I made 3 tote bags to put Christmas presents in instead of buying paper bags , I aim to make a few more, they were so easy and they are lined. I am using up lots of material that I dont use.
Then the first of about 4 boiled fruitcakes that I am making as Christmas presents for the children. This one has rum in it and came out really well, so easy and it is called a boiled fruit cake as you boil together the sugar, butter, fruit, golden syrup and rum for a minute. Then make as a normal cake, it is always so rich and not in the least bit dry. Yum.
If you want more photos go to my other blog here.
Finally tonight's Haiku is by Shiki
Frog- school competing
with lark-school
softly at dusk
in the art of song.

Friday, December 04, 2009

De commissioned Church in Kelso

Well I dont quite know what else to call it as it is one of the many in the UK and I presume Scotland which have been sold as they are no longer economic, or there are too many churches in one place or perhaps they amalgamated, I dont know. I am not sure but I think this magnificent one, of which I sketched a pretty scrappy piece, is used for some sort of community thing.
What do you do with old churches? Not much fun to live in, cost the earth for upkeep and yet some are far too lovely to pull down.
I may not be on this blog much for the next week or so but I will keep up the other one, trying to find time to sketch or paint is not easy in the run up to Christmas, especially at the moment with the girls away and me having to do the feeds, of which there are an awful lot.
We had another foal this morning, thank goodness this one knew all about what he should be doing.
However my knee is being an absolute pain which is now transfering to my hip so I am being awfully slow.
The best thing is that I have had Gaby out with Mason helping me and although he is a very busy little boy he is also quite delightful.
I was also given a sofa bed I need another bed for when people come but this was rather larger than I thought it was and I have had to re organise the sun room so it can go in there, it did however make me do a thorough clean and tidy out which has been good.
A Haiku by Basho.
The oak tree stands
noble on the hill
even in
cherry blossom time.